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News Items – May 24, 2017



We need to fund and support social workers
The Washington Post
This is not the first time that a tragedy has occurred because of inadequate attention from overworked social workers. We know it will happen again. Unfortunately, we read and hear about neglect only when a death occurs, while other levels of child abuse and neglect continue under the radar and unaddressed by our overworked and under-resourced social workers.

Jesse Bennett is a member:
[Video] Raleigh man relates arduous battle with heroin addiction
Addiction to heroin and opioid painkillers is an epidemic in North Carolina. On Wednesday evening, ABC11 is hosting a town hall, taking the conversation from our daily news coverage of the crisis, to a community conversation focused on providing help and finding solutions. Jesse Bennett will be one of the panelists. He is a recovering heroin addict who admits, he should not be alive today. He says he overdosed several times, but it did not stop him from using heroin. “I literally had a reversal in the back of an ambulance, went to the hospital, and walked out of the hospital using,” Bennett said.

Sky Westerlund is executive director of NASW-KS:
To Keep Foster Care Caseworkers, Kansas Adjusts Training, Pay — But Is It Enough?
Sky Westerlund, executive director of the Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, said the profession doesn’t have a recommended maximum number of cases per worker. It depends on the complexity of each family’s issues, the number of children involved and the status of the case, she said. Ultimately, it depends on how many cases the worker can manage while still providing accurate and timely information. “Caseloads are not a number. They are based on circumstances,” she said. “You cannot cut corners. If you cut corners, you’re not going to have an accurate report to the judge who makes the decisions.”

Ronald G. Lewis is a social work pioneer:
MU professor’s link to Cherokee community powers her research
Her father has long hair, doesn’t wear nice clothes and never told her what she couldn’t do. Whenever he saw a situation he considered unjust — in a grocery store, the post office or a restaurant — he intervened. Melissa Lewis, associate professor at MU’s School of Medicine, said as a child she felt embarrassed having a parent who was “an activist in every setting.” But then she grew up and realized he was right. “You’re supposed to to step up and take care of people,” she said. Ronald G. Lewis, Melissa’s father, was the first Native American to earn a doctorate in social work. He was recognized as a social work pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers in 1974 and a longtime advocate on Native American issues.

Jim Gouveia is a member:
Changing the conversation
The Daily Barometer
In an effort to lessen the risk of suicide on campus, OSU, along with nine other Oregon colleges and universities, joined together as members of the Oregon Colleges and Universities Suicide Prevention Project. The group centers itself around the goal of raising awareness about suicide risks, warning signs and treatment resources within their communities. Members of the project also provide training for health and mental health staff, as well as gatekeeper training for anyone interested. According to Jim Gouveia, a licensed clinical social worker and a counselor at CAPS, the purpose of gatekeeper trainings is to educate people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of suicide, how to ask the question, “Have you thought about suicide?” and how to get mental health help and assistance for those in need.

Steve May, the writer, is a member:
Steve May: Inequitable and unequal, by any measure
Under civil rights law it’s unconstitutional to offer an accommodation, which by its very nature would have to be considered inequitable. Two distinct water fountains, one for Caucasians and a second for all other people, doesn’t pass legal muster. Brown v. Board of Education, the legal case which struck down the “Separate but Equal” segregation laws are over half a century old. Equal protection rights exist well beyond the question of race — Most recently the federal courts upheld a series of decisions that legalized gay marriage. In doing so, the court repeatedly found that offering anything short of full marriage rights would be inherently unequal. Equitable and equal are two completely different legal standards, and by either measure the American Health Care Act fails the most vulnerable amongst us.

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